The Maltese is a small, refined, and joyful dog with long, soft white hair. This dog breed is intelligent and compact, making it a conveniently portable little dog.
Caring for Your Maltese
The soft coat of the Maltese grows continuously. Many owners choose to keep the hair trimmed short and it takes on a wavy and fluffy quality; others keep the coat long and flowing. Because of this coat type, routine grooming is an absolute necessity.
The Maltese should be brushed 2-3 times per week (up to once daily if the coat is kept long). Haircuts may be necessary every several weeks.
Like all dogs, the Maltese needs proper training and socialization in order to be happy and well-adjusted. Be careful not to overlook these things just because the Maltese is a small dog. The breed is smart and, therefore, a quick learner. Some feel that the Maltese has an endearing stubborn streak and can be a little on the vocal side.
The Maltese can be traced back over 28 centuries and an ancient breed of Malta. It has been known to be a prized companion of royalty over the years. Unlike many small breeds, the Maltese was not bred down from larger sizes; it has always been a very small dog.
The Maltese has remained a dog breed of distinction - highly esteemed and quite sought-after. Towards the late 1800s, the Maltese was introduced to the US and was officially recognized by the AKC in 1888. The breed has remained relatively popular to this day.
Size: 4-7 pounds
Maltese Health Problems
Responsible breeders strive to maintain the highest breed standards as established by kennel clubs like the AKC. Dogs bred by these standards are less likely to inherit health conditions. However, some hereditary health problems can occur in the breed. The following are some conditions to be aware of:
Living With a Maltese
The Maltese is a charming lap dog that does well in households who want a small companion dog. The playful and affectionate demeanor of this breed makes it a suitable choice for families with well-behaved children.
Also, because the Maltese is one of many hypoallergenic dog breeds, this breed may be suitable for those who are mildly or moderately allergic to dogs.
As with any breed, if you think the Maltese is the right dog for you, be sure to do plenty of research before adopting one. Talk to other Maltese owners, reputable Maltese breeders and Maltese rescue groups to learn more.
Browse Dog Breeds A-Z